Organic Lunches in Traditional Houses in Gakugei-daigaku Tokyo
Tokyo is seen around the world as a booming metropolis of skyscrapers, expensive tastes, and world-class restaurants. In the residential areas, however, life is much more simple than the world assumes it to be.
Along the Toyoko line is Gakugei-daigaku, a residential area brought to life by small shops, cafes, families, and students. During the day, the streets are busy as pedestrians hustle along their errands and daily routines. Not far from the station, there is an old house hidden on a small street. This is Noumin Cafe.
Upon entering the old house, guests are not welcomed in the typical shop manner of “irasshaimase” but rather “okaerinasai,” welcome home. This immediately makes Noumin a warm, pleasant environment in which to spend a short while. Adding to the warmth, visitors may also see the family who runs the cafe eating lunch there, depending on the time of day. Customers are led to one of various rooms, each prepared with various pieces of furniture. In the back room, customers share a cozy dining area with a large Buddha statue tucked away in an alcove. There is also an outdoor patio, where yoga classes are held in warmer months. Guests dining upstairs are instructed to remove their shoes. Dining at Noumin is like coming home to a warm, healthy meal.
Noumin serves two dishes daily – an assortment of vegetarian dishes as a daily plate and a curry platter. Both are served with vegetable-filled soup and a choice of lotus tea or coffee. The quality and freshness of the ingredients, mostly vegetables, is unparalleled. Each bite tastes as if it’s been prepared with care – which it probably has considering the level of hospitality at Noumin.
While Noumin Cafe is the perfect homey escape from a rainy day, it makes for a pleasant, relaxing lunchtime break any day. Make sure to take a break from the bustle of city life by visiting this little nook in the residential area west of Shibuya.
[posted by Nadia]